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hagel was nominated to be secretary of defense, i strongly objected based on his record as a senator and some of his comments about our allies in the middle east that absolutely scared the living day lights out of me. my fears, they were not unfounded. as this week hagel proudly announced his proposal to further gut the military readiness of our nation by drausic troop reductions and cuts to our families and family health care. for the past 100 years presidents and our nation's warriors have warned of putting our guard down. both democrat and republican presents from coolidge to roosevelt to eisenhower to reagan reminded us that readiness to fight is the foundation of freedom. the best minds in our nation's history warned of lulling ourselves into the stupid stupor of thinking that the world would be safer and more peaceful if we just holstered our guns and swords. it's folly to think such nonsense. the best way to preserve freedom, keep the peace and protect security is to have a military that's so overwhelmingly powerful that no one on earth would want to poke it into action. frank
screams the night reeva steenkamp was killed, followed by four gunshots. the defense tried to poke holes in the neighbor's story. >> just listen carefully to the question. the question was not that difficult. shall i repeat it again? please listen carefully. just listen to the question please. >> the defense went on to question the neighbor's credibility. >> you heard that out of a closed toilet and a half, 177 meters away? >> then in graphic detail, the defense explained steenkamp would not have been able to scream after the fourth and fatal shot. >> with the head shot, she would have dropped down immediately. when you say, when you talk about the screaming, whatever interpretation, after the last, it cannot be. >> as i stated yesterday, i heard her voice just after the last shot faded away. >> the defense claiming the screams that night were from pistorious. they say high pitched yells occurred after he realized he had accidentally shot his girlfriend of three months and not the intruder. prosecutors allege allege pistorious killed his girlfriend in a fit of rage and called two more ne
budget with defense cuts amid mounting national security challenges. >> i must say your timing is exquisite. >> now, beyond crimea, mccain mentioned stalled iranian negotiations, conflict in syria, and the chinese getting more aggressive in the south china sea just as china announces it's increasing its own military spending sharply. >> ed henry live on the north lawn, thank you. >>> yeah crane's new prime minister said crimea must remain part of his country. john kerry is trying to cajole the russians to play nice, but he appears to have little leverage. james rosen is traveling with secretary kerry in paris tonight. >> joined by aides inside the ambassador's residence in paris, john kerry squared off once more against russia's long time foreign minister, sergey lavrov, one of the least charitable diplomats who had already telegraphed how little the kremlin will concede by the an exation of crimea in southeastern ukraine, home to the warm water fleet. >> some special alert measures have been adopted to control the fleet because as our president said we're not going to allow an
governments for the very first time talking at least on a cabinet level today and a russian defense official discussing ukraine with nato members in brussels. and tamron, amongst this swirl of activity, you've got russia and the west's end games, which are beginning to emerge. on the one hand, washington and berlin are pushing a plan agreed to by western foreign ministers today in paris that would include international observers, direct talks between moscow and kiev and new elections in may. the russians, on the other hand, want to see a return of viktor yanukovych, they call him the legitimate president, he would have new elections, not in may, but december. there's a big gulf between the two sides, but at least, tamron, they are talking again. back to you. >> absolutely, thank you very much, jim maceda. now let me bring in new york congressman elliiot engel, he's also a member of the congressional ukrainian caucus. sir, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> i know defense secretary chuck hagel was at a house hearing this morning giving an update and he said he and general demps
of a lot of cause. >> after 13 years of warfare for this country, the u.s. now has a new defense battle plan that involves shrinkinging down the military. >> the -- shrinking down the military. >> it would shrink down to the smallest since 1930's before world war ii? >> jon: what? i just love the army. i just love the army. [laughter] we can't shrink the army. it's a process only tested on our kids. [laughter] and then after that ourselves. [ laughter ] ising this this goss to be a -- is this going to be a trilogy? what are we cut something in. >> after iraq and afghanistan we're no longer sizing the military to conduct long stability operations. there's 525,000 active duty soldiers. we've decided to further reduce the active duty army strength to a range of 440,000 to 450 soldiers. >> jon: 450 that's not enough. i really don't -- 450,000. that's -- [laughter] that actually should be fine. [ laughter ] so we're deploying tough love to match our military size to our military needs. i think this is right especially since our military spending is bigger than the next 13 countries combined.
, picked apart, with a very passionate prosecution from the pistorius defense team. a lot happening on day one, and this is what it's going to be like for the next few weeks, the next few months, sort of a roller coaster ride. >> before i let you go, it's been the reaction of south frick to this trial, does it really come down to whether oscar pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs or not? >> no, i don't think it does come down to that, i think it's a lot more than that. you know, the ballistics will determine whether or not he had his prosthetic legs on. but i think what it really boils down to. this is about one judge. a very respected, experienced judge. listening to legal arguments, procedural arguments. about mistaken identity, about self-defense, murder, premeditated murder. self-defense again and again, and i think that's what's going to determine, what south african's think, what the police think or oscar's defense think, it all boils down to the judge. it's all about law in the end. >> thank you very much indeed. i want to bring in a man who's known oscar pistorius since he was
troops back. foreign minister sergey lavrov say the pro-russian griewpts are quote self-defense forces and they do not answer to moscow. he made the remarks in madrid. he says russian naval personnel are in their normal deployment. we have seen those ships off of the coast. kerry laughed when he heard this at the news conference that they are claiming they have no control over these russian troops that are really pressing back against the ukrainian troops. gregg: some of their armored vehicles have russian insignias identifying them as russian even though they are dressed in dark outfits with no other indication. back to our top story. we are waiting to see if former irs official lois lerner will testify in a house oversight hearing on the targeting of organizations by the irs. back in may of last year she famously invoked her fifth amendment rights not to talk. let many get to our chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel. any independent casings what she is going to do? i suppose there are several options. >> reporter: darrell issa and the attorney for lois lerner have been talk
is general sinclair's lead defense attorney mr. chef. the prosecutor quit. we did reach out to the pentagon and prosecution and get statements and the pentagon has yet to get back to us for a statement and of course we will have the pentagon's side of the story whenever they do get back to us. tell me your best argument for why the charges should be dismissed? >> well the charges should be dismissed because it's pretty clear the decision-making in the case is being driven by politics and people at the pentagon as opposed to where it should be with the convening authority at fort bragg. this is a case that has always been a remarkably thin case in terms of the evidence. there are thousands and thousands of text messages and personal journals by the person who's accusing general sinclair of sexual assault. it demonstrates the consensual nature of their relationship. on top of that, in early january she perjured herself during a pretrial hearing. in that circumstance, in every experience i've had both as prosecutor and defense lawyer and everyone i've spoking to, the charges that are based sol
obviously that putin has used the same defense, that he's trying to protect russian-speaking minorities that hitler used in trying to protect german speakers, but, you know, beyond that it's really inappropriate. >> let me ask you, david. you spoke yesterday with the former defense secretary, robert gates. i wanted to bring this up. first i wanted to play something peter king said about red lines and criticizing the president. it goes directly to the conversation you had with robert gates. >> if he is going to have this policy, which i think to some extent is too -- is not strong enough, but if he is going to have that policy then he shouldn't be laying out scenarios and laying out red linings. he has to be consistent. >> that was obviously criticizing the president. john mccain using the words if he canless -- feckless, john mccain even more. he urged gop senators to tone down their criticism and try to be supportive of the president rather than madder at the president, that this is a time when you need to do that. what do you -- what do you think is going to happen here? >> well, i ca
that are already lining up behind a clinton presidential bid punched back aggressively in her defense. so let's start with wednesday. hillary clinton was a bit could i r -- coy about her future. >> can you give us some insight in your tbd in your bio will play out? >> well, i'd really like to, but i have no characters left. i will certainly ponder that. >> but what was clear in that speech and in those remarks is clinton has become a full participant in the invisible primary. she made her most extended defense, for instance, of the health care law. >> -- you insure your car. why? because you don't want something bad to happen to it, so insure yourself because, you know, you don't know whether something bad could happen to you. >> but earlier that same day, she did strike a note of caution on health care, saying this, quote, i think we're on the right track in many respects, but i would be the first to say if things aren't working, then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes. now, republicans jumped on those comments by hillary clinton, but you should kno
to the gym. she was found not guilty. danny, what do you make of the verdict? >> her entire defense was about who she was, a person on her way to work. that context was critical. the only shot she had here. her entire defense was involuntary intoxification. she accidentally took one of these ambiens. that defense hinged on the context. what kind of person was this? i promise you, if the facts were that she was at an applebys at night and she had an ambien, i don't know they would believe that was involuntary intoxification. instead, she was on the way to the gym. who in the world of drug addicts would take an ambien to go to the gym? >> it is a common sense argument. why would you possibly do that? you said it was all about who she is, no the necessarily the kennedy name. the kennedy name did come up, very prominently introduced by the defense. they explained who she was, all about her family. do you think it played any role in being charged and also in the verdict? >> whenever you have a defendant you are putting on the stand, you will do anything to bring out facts that will show they are a
ground defense that many others have received. what she was separated from her kids, and she was sent to prison. she finally got some good news last fall when an appeals court ordered a new trial. but now a stunning announcement from her prosecutor. state attorney angela corey says she'll try to put marissa alexander in prison for 60 years. 60 years. that's triple alexander's original sentence. it's essentially a life sentence if she is convicted at this upcoming trial. so marissa alexander fires a warning shot. no one is hurt, and she faces 60 years in prison? while others have shot and killed and are walking free today. where is the justice in that? . >> joining me now is lisa bloom, legal analyst for the "today" show and avo.com, and the author of "suspicion nation: the inside story of the trayvon martin injustice and why we continue to repeat it." thank you for being here, lisa. >> thank you, reverend al. >> lisa, how can angela corey try to put marissa alexander behind bars for 60 years when she was originally sentenced to just 20? >> this is another outrage from angela corey's o
and insisting russian troops in crimea wearing unmarked uniforms are local defense forces. what happens now is anyone's guess. >> man, what's going on? >> the first shots fired today, luckily just warning shots as an extraordinary moment unfolded in crimea this morning when troops led by their colonel decided to march to the airfield they used to man until the russians arrived last week. there, unarmed, singing the ukraine national anthem, they confronted the russian soldiers. >> the standoff lasted five hours. russian snipers at the ready. finally, the ukrainians backed down. >> the order is given. return to barracks. great dignity and showing great military discipline, they decided enough is enough and march off back to their base. >> the standoff was an incredible scene in itself, but it also revealed how quickly geopolitical stakes are escalated in this crisis. listen to this moment, again, as ukrainian troops marched toward the russians. "america is with us." it's hard to argue with that statement as secretary of state john kerry arrived in kiev today laying flowers at a tribute for th
there are russian defense forces. kerry was god smacked. nbc's andrea mitchell told him putin said that. putin says there's an illegitimate government here in kiev. kerry says how can it be illegitimate when the parliament approved this government? putin says there are ant anti-semantic running in kiev. kerry says, i drove through kiev, i walked through kiev, how can that be the case, mr. putin? but let's look at the positive side of things. progress, kerry is going to be speaking to lavrov. nato and the russians will be speaking, as well. it's sluggish, but there is a ministerial level conversation going on. the russians maybe, despite mr. putin's comments about the illegitimatesy of this government, there was some progress there. but the hard proof is there are russian forces or pro russian forces, whatever you want to call it, on ukraine territory. talking about putin's speech yesterday, this is hard lined. it says the confessions of a mad adegreeson with a caricature of mr. putin. a humanitarian mission? and then we have a third bun referring to those shots and pictures of unarmed ukrainian air
and russians on a governmental level are talking for the first time today. the russian defense official is discussing ukraine with nato members in brussels as well. in this whole kind of flurry of diplomacy we're getting the sense of two end games. west is pushing the plan to include international observers on the ground, in crimea. direct talks between kiev and moscow and new elections in may a, russians want a return of the ousted ukrainian leader viktor yanukovych to hold the government and re-election in december. there's a gulf between the two side, but at least they're once again talking together. >> 4:03 in the afternoon in moscow, russia. thank you so much jim. back at home, there is new political fights to talk about. president barack obama 's $3.9 trillion budget is on capitol hill. the highlight is massive expansion of earned income tax credit. 13.5 million workers would be eligible for $60 billion in credit. also included, billions for roads and rails, spending the white house says will bolster the economy. republicans say the president's budget is dead on arrival. they comp
playing defense, doing it at an event in d.c. at an elementary school. trying to talk about education and domestic priorities. he took a question on ukraine. he wanted to weigh in on this. he heard this criticism he's been weak on the world stage. the president in conjunction with secretary of state john kerry who at the moment was in kiev pushing back hard against russian president vladimir putin. trying to send a unified message that it's not the administration that looks bad, it's putin that looks bad. kerry saying at one point putin vaded another country. the president also trying to put pressure. listen. >> strong belief russia's action is violating international law. president putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interceptions but i don't think that's fooling anybody. >> the president and secretary of state talking about an aid package of a billion dollars to help out ukraine and deal with it from an economic standpoint. heavy pressure under secretary of state for russia to pushing back further than we've seen so far. >> the president's critic
in crimea because they weren't russian soldiers and insisted they were some sort of self-defense force who couldn't be ordered around by moscow. so a key thing. what we did see today from europe with this $15 billion aid program promised, linked, of course, to an imf deal, that again, priority being to try and bail out the ukrainian economy, to put it back on an even footing. the priority for the western powers. because at the moment in the words of the finance ministry here, the coffers are empty. there's no money in the ukrainian treasury. it's about stabilizing ukraine and about at this point, keeping them calm while the western powers work on calming down the russians, if you like, chris. >> you know, i go back to 1961 in august, when khrushchev put up the wall in berlin separating east and west berlin. kennedy saw it with relief. he said better a wall than a war because it was better the soviets did that on behalf of their clients in east berlin and east germany than to go to war and close down west berlin all together. in this case, i'm trying to see what a reasonable decision by put
than a year later, george zimmerman who says he shot trayvon martin in self-defense was found not guilty by apall female nearly all white jury. the stand your ground law altered the way the jury was instructed. it also raised questions about how the case was prosecuted, particularly after jurors started speaking out, including mattie, the lone member of the jury who was nonwhite. >> it's very hard to be one of the persons that had to deal with him being free right now, but just to know that in my heart, you feel that a person is guilty, but when it comes down to the law, they give you so much that you can work with. >> now a new book takes up inside the george zimmerman he map jury room and we're learning more about maddy, about her interaction with other jurors and about the potential missed opportunity by prosecutors in the zimmerman trial. lisa bloom is a "today show" legal analyst who covers the trial and also a legal analyst for avo.com. her new book, the inside story of the trayvon martin injustice, is in bookstores now. thank you so much for joining us. george zimmerman
henneberg is live in washington with more. >> fox news confirmed that defense secretary chuck hagel spoke to his russian counterpart today about the situation in ukraine. pension officials said there are no military contingency plans for ukraine. we don't expect to hear from the president again today, although we possibly could get an offcamera update from the white house if there are new developments. in president obama's remarks yesterday he warned russia any violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing. >> represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by ukrainian people. it would be a career violation of russia's commitment to respect the sovereignty and borders of ukraine. >> the president said united states will stand with the internationiale community in affirming there will be, quote, costs for any military intervention in ukraine by russia. some republicans are questioning what that means. what it means to russian president vladimir putin, especially since russia appears to be sending military assets and troops into the c
are? >> reporter: well, i think i talked to a former defense minister and others today and people would find it laughable if it weren't so deadly serious that russian forces have not already intervened in crimea. obviously there is huge concern about russian forces extending into eastern ukraine, which we have not seen, thankfully. but there's nobody here that you talk to in kiev who believes that the forces were seeing on the ground in crimea, as our own people have been reporting and others have been reporting, are not russian forces. the idea that there are self-defense militias simply -- it defies credibility. >> and you know, the other part of the news conference, anderson, president putin described the overall situation in ukraine as an unconstitutional coo. do ukrainians that you've been talking to see this escalating in the next few days? >> reporter: you know, there's certainly a lot of concern about that and i think they are watching it very, very closely. i think it's certainly the fact that vladimir putin has not sent forces into eastern ukraine they would see as a pos
they have formed self-defense teams and took over the control of military bases. when i saw yesterday what they have taken over, they -- there are 22,000 troops and a lot of arms. but as i said, without a single shot, it is now in the hand of the ukrainian people. the people who were blocking -- >> let's get back out of this now and explain what's happened so far. from what we've heard so far, let's just go other the headlines. he's been speaking about 20 minutes now. we believe he's entertaining legitimate questions. he says this is a wrongful coup that has happened, that yanukovych was wrongful ly ousted. that the idea of sanctions should be very carefully examined because they will hurt everyone and all options are on the table for him. the first question, it seems that crimea is not the oend, ony the beginning. >> right. seems to me this is availed threat. he's saying unless i have a seat at the table in deciding what's going to happen in the future of the government of ukraine, we reserve the right to go further into russian ukraine. he's really giving no evidence of that. i think wha
the crisis. defense secretary hagel takes heat up on capitol hill but says the u.s. is suspending military exercises with russia and will step up training with poland's military. we have full coverage beginning with our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto here tw latest. jim? >> i think you could say today we saul the full yin and yang of the u.s. policy response to the crisis in crimea. on the other side, secretary of defense chuck hagel demonstrating the u.s. commitment to its nato allies with the deployment of some aircraft and the cancellation-of nato contacts with russia. on the diplomatic side, we saw the opening of a diplomatic path to solving the crisis, the so-called off ramp u.s. officials have mentioned before, still undefined, kerry said, but a start. >> reporter: u.s. and russian diplomats face to face for the first time since the start of the crisis in crimea. secretary of state john kerry said they are now negotiating a diplomatic path to ending it. >> we are committed to working with russia. together with our friends and allies in an effort to provide a way fo
earlier talking about revisiting putting u.s. missile defense in the czech republic. remember russia's response to that when we went through that a couple of years ago. that to this point is something we've not heard the administration is considering. >> and you're on the ground in kiev. what's the scene like there? how are people responding to what's going on in crimea? >> reporter: the government here is definitely very concerned, anderson. they see this as an invasion by the russians as a part of annex crimea as part of russia. they're looking at a diplomatic effort now. no doubt the ukrainance could not go blow to blow with the russians. they don't have the fire power that the russians do. so they're looking abroad. and that look goes towards the united nations. they're asking the u.n. security council to get involved. it's unclear what role they would play as russia as you know has veto power in the security council. and moscow has been concerned over the ethnic russians in the crimea. one thing the ukrainen government has asked to send monitors into the crimea to show ethnic ru
's status should also change. militarily there is less than can be done. russia's defense budget is about 18 times that of ukraine, but nato should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like poland including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned. in economic terms, washington and the eu should consider sanctions that would be effective. ones targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for acts of aggression against ukraine. washington cannot stop vladimir putin as he creates facts on the ground in crimea. but step back and consider what a strategic disaster this is for him. ukraine has slipped out of russia's orbit and most of the population there is going to be hostile toward russia for generations. countries like poland that had eased up relations with moscow will view it with great suspicion. all european countries will put their relations with russia under review. even china will surely oppose the brazen violation of national sovereignty, something beijing has is always concerned about. within russia people have seen that putin
as we've been reporting all afternoon, jim. you saw the pictures coming out of the white house. defense secretary chuck hagel, cia director john brennan, talking about the situation in ukraine and discussing policy options. i should note, jim, that just outside the gates of the white house at this very moment there is a protest going on. some ukranians have gathered outside the north fence to talk about what they would like to see happen. they would like to see the u.s. get more involved. but as the hours go on, jim, i think we're going to get a clearer indication as to how this phone call went down between these two leaders. as you mentioned, they did speak a week ago friday. and you heard the president in the briefing room yesterday issuing that warning to vladimir putin that there would be costs if russia intervenes in ukraine. >> want to point out, jim, while those folks were meeting there in the white house for an emergency session in effect to discuss ukraine those pictures we just saw might explain that the president was on the phone with several world leaders including we now kn
florida's stand your ground law in her defense. an appeals judge threw out that conviction and freed from prison right before thanksgiving. she faces a retrial and delay and this week the prosecution announced they are seeking consecutive, not concurrent sentences which would make it 60 years. that's practical terms a life sentence. >> for shooting a wall. >> for shooting a wall. >> i disagree with that. i don't think it's shooting the wall. >> let's start with you. the taco, what is your take in legal terms, what's the basis for seeking consecutive? sfl the law permits it and she's charged in three counts. there are 20-year counts. look, the attorney general, prosecution is doing what the law gives them the ability to do and discretion to do. this case i think underscores more than anything the unfair results and sentencing you can have when these guidelines and sentencing sort of mandatory minimums strip the judge from the judge's discretion, evaluate all of the facts and circumstances. this lady was given 20 years and the judge all but said i wish i could do something else. i've been a
defense official is discussing ukraine with nato members in brusse brussels, as well. so, kristen, what's emerging, it seems in this -- from the swirl of diplomacy is a couple of end games. the russian plan and the western plan, if you will. washington and berlin pushing hard now for something that would include international observers to replace the russian or pro-russian forces in crimea, direct talks between russia and kiev, and new elections in may. now, reduction erussians want t return of viktor yanukovych to head a national unity government and new elections in december, so there's a gulf between the two sides, but at least the two sides are talking again. kristen if, that doesn't work, don't expect to see russian forces pulling back from crimea anytime soon. back to you. >> all right. jim maceda, thank you for that reporting from moscow. we appreciate it. >>> joining me now, california republican ed royce, chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, holding a hearing on ukraine tomorrow. thank you so much for joining me this morning, congressman. appreciate it. >> thank you
of defense, were seen leaving the white house earlier this afternoon. joining me to catch us up is nbc news correspondent kristen welker. >> reporter: thanks for having me. there were high-level meeting at the white house. the national security team met here at the white house to discuss possible policy steps at that they may take in the future. president obama was not at that meeting i am told, but he was briefed by his national security adviser susan rice, as well as the rest of his national security team. as you pointed out, karen, we saw defense secretary chuck hagel leaving the wours early and dni chief james clapper as well as other officials. this comes on a very stern warning yesterday. he said to russia if they were to take military steps in ukraine, that there would be costs associated with that. so the big question is what will those costs be? what are they considering? one white house official telling nbc news that those costs could include a possible boycott of the g-8 summit. that is slated to happen in sochi, russia, the very same place where the olympics were held in june. >
in the dark. a neighbor testified that she will come up at 3:00 a.m. to screams and gun fire. defense attorneys say the testimony did not match her earlier statement to police. >> i also heard a man screaming for help. >> it is quite clear from your version that you are not sure what you know. you are speculating carrier trying to close of the gaps. faces life in prison if convicted. >> police still searching for suspects in a deadly knife attack at a train station in china. 29 people were killed and 130 others were wounded on saturday. at least 10 people carrying knives and cleavers ran into the crowded station hacking at everybody in their path. police killed four suspects and wounded a female suspect. authorities say the separatist group from northwest china was behind the attack. a teenage daughter celebrated her family's legal victory with a brand on facebook.rant on facebook. >> he agreed to keep quiet about it. his daughter broke the news on facebook. that included a lover is now officially paying for my vacation. the school took the family to court for breaking the confidentia
that the pentagon and the joint chiefs, the secretary of defense right now are going through all the scenarios and the options for the use of force. clearly, it's premature for us to even talk about the use of force. however, it is a possible outcome and needs to be planned, and it is what i would describe very robust detail. so a lot of options are out there. clearly, the united states as a first order would have to have what's known as a command and control type capability so if a decision was made to apply force, it's going to be a joint force. all the services and the different combat and commands will be involved and it will require some element that will allow you to tie it all together. that's taking place right now in terms of discussions in what's known as warning orders, in order to posture us, to make sure we're prepared. but all this is premature because there are other elements of power that have to be addressed and have to be exhausted. if the united states has declared and determined that this is in their national interest to get involved in some way, or to simply allow this to
of the national defense council. and i spoke to one of the representatives of that council, deputy summer somer about the intentions of the russians. let's just listen in to what she thought. >> we understand that this is main goal of the russian army to -- ukrainian army to have its own country. but just now, we don't have any cases with -- where our on -- >> do you fear that there's going to be an escalation of the conflict area outside of crimea to, perhaps, eastern ukraine, for instance, which has a lot of russian support, we're told? >> so dangerous of escalation is very high. but ukrainian government try to keep the situation and our message for all ukrainian army to give the people. we understand that we are doing everything without armed forces. >> do you consider russian actions so far to be a declaration of war by russians on ukraine? >> yes. we can see the decision of the russian parliament and we can see act on the ukrainian territory in crimea. >> what they're saying here is the actions on the ground that have been a declaration of war. we've had a mobilization of regular forces, a
he says they're local self-defense teams. why are they wearing uniforms similar to russians? he said they're available in shops across the union. he was asked if russians are involved in securing crimea? he said no repeatedly. that stands against teams on the ground are reporting that have spoken to soldiers and who have admitted they are russia. which explains why they're so well armed, driving armored vehicles and why army vehicles have russian plates. >> it's interesting in the of the phone call between merkel and problem. it says merkel expressed the opinion vladimir putin was in another world, did not seem teth t -- seem in reality. that's my translation. as someone reporting on putin for years, what's your take? is this somebody that disconnected from reality or somebody willing to say whatever he needs to say to accomplish what he needs to accomplish? >> i think putin is off viewed rightly as the ultimate pragmatist. he require rarely acts without . his take on what's going on on the ground and what western leaders believe is the claim to a threat to the ethnic russian populat
to bush and obama's secretary of defense bob gates who said this: "it seems to me that trying to speak with one voice, one american voice, has become a quaint thing of the past. i regret that enormously. and so do i. there's nothing more frightening to our enemy than a strong, united voice. it's incumbent upon his political rivals to encourage him privately, not provide political broadsides in public. there's going to be a lot of time to do that during the political campaigns but for now washington leaders should measure their words a bit more carefully because, richard, not on is the whole world watching, vladimir putin is watching. do you agree with secretary gates and myself that you can disagree with the president of the united states, the commander in chief without going out making extreme political broadsides? >> absolutely. what makes it more relevant here, i may be in a minority, but i don't think vladimir putin had in his closet a 16-point plan for ukraine. i think he's improvising and making it up as he's going along, looking for opportunities, playing off what it is we say a
republicans on the defensive in their 2014 campaigns. in fact, in kentucky yesterday, former president bill clinton riled up the sold-out crowd while stumping for alison grimes, who wants senate minority leader mcconnell's seat. both stayed away from mentioning the health care law, but as today's "first read" points out, both clinton and grimes played the obama dem play book of 2014 by emphasizing the need to raise the minimum wage and reduce income inequality. >> i don't know about you, kentucky, but i'm not going to let any washington politician whose net worth is over $25 million tell me, tell us, that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is going to hurt our economy. >> in the end, you can only have a lot of rich people if you have even more middle class people and all the poor folks have a chance to work their way into it. >> joining me now live, nbc news correspondent mark murray. we can see the direction in that race, as well as in many other key races in 2014. >> that was my big takeaway from yesterday, is alison grimes/bill clinton event in kentucky, they were following th
the entirety of the defense of marriage act. >> do you think decisions that have been made now by judges in six different states are unconstitutional? >> we support the constitutional right of committed same sex couples to engage in civil marriage partnerships. we oppose any sort of discrimination being codified into law, which is what sb-1062 would have done had governor brewer signed it into law, this she did not tonight. >> why can't the republican party en masse -- if it's wrong for a private wedding photographer to be allowed to discriminate against a gay couple, clearly it should be wrong for an employer of a wedding photographer to fire that wedding photographer, because they are gay, right? that's the practice it would put an end to. >> correct. >> there seems to be no gap in the logic between those two. yet they're sitting there and waiting for the house republicans to take it up and pass it. >> it's sitting there having received bipartisan passage in the united states senate with 10 republicans voting for it, actually, both senators mccain and flake by the way. and it's not just sitti
to be real. don't be defensive. look for opportunities for humor. it's opportunity that people see more sides of you and often see you only in very stern situations. i'm not sure but, bill, but i don't recall a recent occasion when someone very close to me felt the need to remind me to be real. one last one. this was a list of hillary clinton's favorite reporters in essence that was compiled by one of her aides and sent to then first lady. again, in 1995, first on the list was terry hunt. now, he was the chief white house correspondent for the associated press. i knew him well when i used to cover the white house. and he is a good guy and a straight arrow but mrs. clinton's aide wrote to mrs. clinton he is a fan of yours. then, clocking in at number three was andrea mitchell of nbc news who was described as a former white house correspondent. who was replaced by brian williams. the memo said that nbc was grooming williams to take over for tom brokaw it said andrea now covers the state department. she is very aggressive. then comes claire shipman at number 4. at the time she was with cnn as th
defense zone over thousands of miles in the pacific. this is a very dangerous precedent that's been setting. iraq was a disaster. this was an even lower precedent for military intervention. putin has sort of outplayed us over the last decade. now germany gets 40% of its natural gas from russia. he knows that. he thinks the germans won't back sanctions. it is angela merkel, the german chancellor, who's saying we should not kick russia out of the g8. it's hurting him economically. it's isolating him. you don't give him the olympic games. you don't allow him in the g8. you hold him accountable. and i agree with steve, you have a strategy to isolate putin. putin is dangerous. putinism is dangerous. this rise of authoritarianism is something we need counter patiently, slowly, but consistently over time. >> steve, one of the problems in a situation like this is the ultimate action no one is willing to take. there is no one saying we should be willing to go to war with russia over this incursion. and once you eliminate getting into an actual shooting conflict, that eliminates an awful lot
an occupation when these are self-defense forces? these are not russian." that really dampened hopes of any meaningful progress. at least they've talked, and at least it has gone on longer than we thought. the other big news, of course, is the e.u. weighing in with a big financial package, offering $15 billion worth of aid. that comes after yesterday's announcement of a billion dollars of -- of loan guarantees from the u.s. the priority, aside from calming down the security situation in crimea, is, of course, to try and stabilize the ukrainian economy which is in a terrible way with the russians turning the screws still more. the finance ministry here have been frank. they say we've got no money left. the coffers are empty, it's been stolen. also in the east, we've seen more violence, clashes between pro-russian protesters and supporters of the ukrainian government. we've had the -- the government offices there occupied first by the pro-russians, pushed out, and then the pro-ukrainians. and now again today, the pro-russians taking control of that building and putting their flag up. so a pre
is give businesses who refuse to serve someone for religious reasons a defense if they get sued. so that's how the law would change the current religious freedom restoration act. it would apply to businesses. they could go to court if they're sued and say, you know, it was our religious -- this is our religious freedom. it would violate it to serve someone if we believe that would interfere with our practices and beliefs. >> so, pete, there are people who are making the argument against the law saying, well, listen, maybe a muslim business owner will say, i don't want to serve christians or maybe the law could be used in some other way. somebody who had an objection, let's say, to a service animal coming into a business and say, listen, i have a religious objection to animals coming into my business. could this law be used to discriminate against christians in arizona? >> here's the thing. there is also a public accommodations law in arizona. it makes it illegal to refuse to serve people based on a list of factors, including race, national origin, religion, sex, so forth. there is no pro
. they quoted her book to seek truth for justice in their closing. this he decided that her defense sounded like something they should understand. >> when you say she was driving erratically. she was driving a lexus suv and swerved in front of a tractor-trailer, right? >> and there was a crash but no w one was hurt. this is a critical issue. this is an interesting defense. this kind of drug has what you called an amnesia effect. this jury believed her expert. they did not believe, necessarily, what the prosecutor's expert was trying to primulgate. on this particular drug, she wouldn't have been aware she was driving erratically. >> you talked to kerry kennedy in the courtroom. what did they say? >> i was just in the courtroom when that verdict rank out. the jury deliberated about it, an hour and 10 minutes. i asked kerry kennedy, has this experience changed you at all. because this could be life changing in one way or another. she was a defendant in a courtroom. that has never happened before. she said, it really hasn't. she said she is not angry at all. she is just so grateful for the jury, gra
, the delay buys you negotiating power. there's pressure on issa to produce her. and the defense attorney representing her wants use immun immunity. i guarantee you that's what's going to happen. he knows by the subpoenas which require her to produce the document. he doesn't know why she did it. he doesn't know who ordered her to do this, if anyone. so that's really the ultimate question, isn't it? >> yeah. and the important point here is that lois lerner is not who darrell issa and republicans on the committee, that's not who they really want to get. they want to get at whatever, whatever political force there was that put pressure on lois lerner to go after these groups. and what we've seen over the last couple months when this whole scandal hadn't been in the news that month is they've slowly accumulated evidence that the decision to go after these groups occurred much earlier than weieved and that as you noted that the pressure came from a far more politically-involved players. and that, it's that politically-involved pressure. that's what darrell issa wants to get at. if lois lerner
needs to be broken up into two parts, an offensive part and a defensive part, and the cyber security companies would be a lot more comfortable working with a defensive nsa than they are working with an nsa that's trying to hack into a lot of people's information. so he suggested that they might not want to work with the nsa at all if that kind of clarity can't be given to the cyber security technology companies. >> i have a more practical question. what are they trying to do to solve this security problem for all of us with our credit cards and all the things that can be hacked into? i mean, is there a solution that they're eyeing right now or are they just kind of flailing about here? >> well, i'll tell you, there are hundreds of solutions in this room. all of these little startup companies have a different idea about how to do that, and you're seeing sort of capitalistic, darwinian evolution going on as all these little companies pitch these ideas. bigger companies are coming up and acquiring the little firms and saying that's where we're going to go, but this question of passwords
the developments in ukraine. the russians appear to have ignored the warning issued by defense secretary chuck hagel yesterday. as soon as the olympics ended last weekend, russian president vladimir putin called snap military exercises on ukraine's border. he did not have to send troops into crimea. he already had troops at the russian naval base. the troops who have taken over the two airports in crimea may have come from that russian naval base. in other words, putin didn't have to send troops into ukraine. they were already there. >> but they didn't have permission to go to the airport. they're supposed to stay on their base. >> that's correct. >> news from the future, this is ugly. thank you very much. we'll monitor things at the pentagon with jennifer's house. this is serious. >>> here at home, u.s. marshals captured a child sex offender who escaped from a halfway house in denver. officials found this 51-year-old, eric hartwell, at a motel six, where they left the light on for him, in norfolk, virginia. 1800 miles from denver where he disappear last week. investigators say hartwell someho
's playing defense but simply raising the costs for the united states and the european union. putin was willing to write a $15 billion check to prop up the ukrainian economy. now that burden falls to international community, the united states and european union. i think what he's ultimately getting at is trying to create the same kind of paralysis in ukraine that he's created in georgia back in 2008 so that ukraine is just struggling to survive and not able to make any fundamental long-term strategic decisions. >> yeah, i think that makes sense. you mentioned the economic pressures. the big question is does that continue to be a geopolitical power through economics or as we've been reporting with more armed forces on the ground or coming in, some unidentified, do we look at something that could be a much more dangerous military escalation. p.j. crowley in washington. thank you. >> thanks, ari. >>> up next, food fight. first lady michelle obama is digging in and some of america's biggest corporations may not like what she's saying. ner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of
out of the loop on some of these decisions. it's not going a defense she is going to use. her plan is to stick with president obama, but it makes it hard for her to charter her own course as she heads out on this campaign. we have seen ian senator john mccain who you know is very supportive of her in the past and joked about her and said she was totally wrong about this. >> julie, this shows the long march to entering the race for hillary clinton, the longer this drags out, the more hits she is going to take. whatever issue of the day comes up, it's a link somehow to hillary clinton. >> absolutely. especially if it's something that happened on foreign policy when she was secretary of state. i mean, that red reset button moment we are going to see played over and over again. i actually am interested to hear from her on what she was thinking at that time and whether she thinks that was the right policy given what we have seen now. >> and gene robinson, there are going to be a lot of issues that she is going to be exposed on if she runs moving forward and a lot of people think she is
on their own self-defense? they have subcontracted out all of their defense to the united states assuming we would come to their aid. if they were stronger militarily, would putin be able to make those moves? i don't think so. >> i think it would be useful if europe spent more on its defense and i would not lump all the european nations together. i think france and great britain spend a fair amount on their defense. it would be useful if they spent more but i don't think that's the key to resolving this crisis. >> how far -- keep going. >> it would also be useful for the european union and individual european states to levy sanctions on russian leaders. russian leaders keep their money in europe. that would be a strong disincentive for aggression. >> on vladimir putin? >> yes. >> when he decides he's not going to send them all the natural gas, one-third of which they consume from russia, and they are paying through the nose and their economy still isn't recovered, why would they do that? >> that's a fair question. keep in mind if putin doesn't sell it to europe, he doesn't sell it. russia ne
of ten s&p sectors up more than 1%. it doesn't matter if you're defensive names or cyclical names, health care, financials, industrials, it doesn't matter. right across the board, 7 to 1 advancing to declining stocks. the only point i would point out, the one thing i would make is look at the ten-year. this is not signaling somehow economic news is better. a lot of the naysayers down here, and there's a few of them left, keep saying watch the bond market. that's the one that's still not moving. guys, a lot of attention focused on that nonfarm payroll report on friday. back to you. >> yes. oh, by the way. thanks very much, bob. it was back to work in washington. president obama's 2015 budget was unveiled. it calls for tax increases on the rich to finance tax cuts for the not so rich, but it has little, if any, chance of passing politically. possibly that's another reason why stocks are higher today, right? >> john harwood joins us with some of the defails on this one. john? >> there are two distinct parts of the president's budget. one part has to do with the budget world as it is under th
gun indictments from previous incidents. pistorius' defense team said that last year's shooting was an accident. >> the fatal gunshot wounds to reeva, this occurrence was indeed an accident and i mistakenly believed that an intrude are or intruders had entered my home and posed an imminent threat to reeva and me. >> nick, what's the latest? >> reporter: kyra, if you wanted to get a sense of how this is all going to play out over the next few weeks, this afternoon would have told you everything. pistorius' defense lawyer, barry rue ripping into the witness there, michelle burger, questioning her time and again, how many shots, how did you hear them? what did you hear the screaming? what did your husband hear? your husband heard something different? he accused her of, you are adapting, you are speculating, you are closing the gap, all but telling her she is getting wrong, trying to inject an element of doubt in her testimony. she started off as a nervous witness. she started off speaking her native african. she finished the afternoon speaking in english standing up to that severe
more money. don't cut the defense budget. spend the same amount of money. spend more money developing the technologies, the infrastructure. >> pay them more? >> so that we don't have to worry about 2.3 million troops in china or a million troops in iran. that won't matter if we have the baddest, the strongest, smartest, and the best equipped for the next big cyberwar, the next war. >> why don't we stop building tanks? the last tank battle was -- >> no, it wasn't. we had them in desert storm. >> a few tanks. >> that's why they surrendered, bob. >> remember baghdad, bob. they were saying there were no tanks and the tanks were behind them. >> baghdad bob. >> here's the problem, and bob, i would hope you would join me on this. you should be concerned because right now if we do these cuts, we're going to be heavily re reliant on the technological edge over places like china that they're narrowing in on. that's the problem. if you rely on that, they're not honest on what they're doing or their spending or what the new developments are. as you pointed out, they like the borrow other people's
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